Romantic Suspense

Tomorrow I’m flying to Nashville to attend a writers’ conference (Killer Nashville). I’ve been attending writing conferences for more than thirty years, and I always come home having learned something.

On Saturday morning I’ll be on a “Romantic Suspense” panel. I’m feeling a bit unprepared. Although, in the past, I’ve written what I (me, myself) consider romantic suspense, it has never quite fit the prevailing definition of that sub-genre, and I haven’t written anything lately that would fit. But I’m not overly worried. My panel is at 8 a.m. Saturday morning (after most attendees will have been up half the night at the bar). I’m guessing not very many people will be in the audience at that hour.

So what is romantic suspense?

In my opinion, it’s a story where the romance and suspense are closely interwoven. You can’t eliminate one or the other. I think my Loveswept® Shelter from the Storm (Amazon:Shelter from the Storm) fits that definition the closest. You can’t separate Jana’s desperate search for her kidnapped brother from the romance that develops between Jana and Trevor Fox.

My “Crow” books (The Crows, As the Crow Flies, and Eat Crow and Die) do not fit that description. In each case, I could have written the mystery part of the book without including a romance. I don’t think they would have been as interesting, but again, that’s my opinion. And my suspense, A Killer Past really doesn’t have a traditional romance.

Last week I released as an e-book another of my Loveswept® romances. Destiny Unknown (Amazon:Destiny Unknown ) has a mystery (someone is making Bernadette Sanders look inept as a department store manager and guilty of skimming), but I could have written it as a romance between opposites without including the mystery.

So what is your definition of romantic suspense?

By the way, next week my Kindle version of Destiny Unknown will go on sale for .99¢

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Romantic Suspense

  1. Melissa Keir says:

    That’s an interesting problem. I find that many stories are a struggle to fit the definition but are romantic suspense because of how the author wrote them. Enjoy your conference.

  2. Lucy Kubash says:

    I always think of romantic suspense as having more emphasis on the romance, but with the suspense providing much of the conflict. I like it when they are interwoven, so that each element is important to the story. Have a great conference. Love the new cover for Destiny Unknown!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks, Lucy. You’re the second person I’ve heard from that has stressed that the romance has the greatest emphasis in Romantic Suspense. I’ll use this Saturday morning.